Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
Fiona's Feed
Jul 18, 2012

Analysis: Spain’s leader could learn some lessons from Portugal

MADRID/LISBON (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy could learn some lessons about communication from neighboring Portugal as he struggles to restore confidence in Madrid’s public finances and avoid an international bailout.

Spain’s borrowing costs have soared, bringing the country dangerously close to being shut out of the bond markets even after euro zone partners promised aid for its ailing banks and Rajoy announced a new austerity plan last week.

Jul 9, 2012

Spain deal requires “bad bank,” more capital: source

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain will create a single ‘bad bank’ to house all its banks’ soured assets and the banks will all increase their core capital buffers to 9 percent in return for up to 100 billion euros in European aid, a government source said on Monday.

Euro zone leaders have promised to help Spain’s banks, left laden with bad debts when a property bubble burst four years ago, after it became clear that with one in four workers out of a job the country could not manage the crisis without some form of outside help.

Jun 21, 2012

New dangers lurk for rudderless Spain

MADRID, June 21 (Reuters) – Spain seems trapped on a
conveyor belt carrying it toward a furnace – an international
rescue of the euro zone’s fourth biggest economy.

Bad commercial loans, economic decline and sliding real
estate prices are all aggravating problems at Spain’s
over-extended banks, which lent too much too freely during a
credit fuelled property boom that lasted almost a decade.

Jun 14, 2012

Chicago “Love Boat” steered Spain to bailout

MADRID/BERLIN (Reuters) – In Chicago, they know about offers you can’t refuse.

So when Angela Merkel asked Spain’s prime minister out for a boat ride on the Chicago River, last resting place of more than one unfortunate who got too deep in debt, Mariano Rajoy may have had cause for unease over what the German leader would tell him.

Jun 13, 2012

Insight: Chicago “Love Boat” steered Spain to bailout

MADRID/BERLIN (Reuters) – In Chicago, they know about offers you can’t refuse.

So when Angela Merkel asked Spain’s prime minister out for a boat ride on the Chicago River, last resting place of more than one unfortunate who got too deep in debt, Mariano Rajoy may have had cause for unease over what the German leader would tell him.

Jun 10, 2012

Skeptical Spaniards pour scorn on Rajoy over rescue

MADRID (Reuters) – Confused and anxious Spaniards heaped scorn on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Sunday for portraying a 100 billion euro European rescue of the country’s zombie lenders as a triumph, expressing skepticism about whether the plan will work.

With the economy contracting, one in four workers out of a job, and Greek elections next weekend overshadowing the entire euro zone, Spaniards accepted that Saturday’s announcement of the bank rescue was necessary but many doubted it would solve the problems of Spain or the euro.

Jun 8, 2012

Spain’s Rajoy tries to take charge

MADRID (Reuters) – Mariano Rajoy thought he could pull Spain out of economic crisis by sticking close to fellow conservative Angela Merkel.

But six months after he was elected prime minister the German chancellor’s slow-motion approach has let him down; Spain’s banks look in need of international rescue, state funding costs are near unaffordable, Spanish stocks are down a quarter and Rajoy’s party is sinking fast in the opinion polls.

Jun 4, 2012

Spain seeks direct EU bank aid, Germany resists

MADRID (Reuters) – Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is pressing for a direct European rescue for Spain’s banks with moral support from the European Commission, but Germany appeared to rule out such a “bailout lite” for the euro zone’s fourth biggest member.

A source with knowledge of the matter said Madrid is working along with European institutions to find a way to directly refinance banks using rescue funds without the government having to come under a full EU/IMF adjustment program.

May 29, 2012

Spain to present 2012-2014 budget control plan

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain will put forward a three-year plan to control central government spending, covering 2012-2014, when it presents a draft budget to Congress in the coming months, a government source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Spain is trying to control three areas of spending, at the central government level, the 17 autonomous regions and social security after missing the 2011 budget deficit target by a large margin. The deficit was 8.9 percent instead of 6.0 percent.

May 25, 2012

Bankia, Catalonia pile on Spanish debt worries

MADRID, May 25 (Reuters) – Financial troubles at a big
Spanish bank and one of the country’s richest regions,
Catalonia, piled on problems on Friday for the Madrid government
and for investors who question whether it can pay its debts
without help from euro zone allies.

Bankia SA, Spain’s fourth biggest bank and newly
nationalised, asked for a bailout of 19 billion euros ($24
billion) to repair losses caused by a burst property bubble, a
financial sector source said – more than double what the finance
minister said just days ago would be the least that was needed.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is Reuters' chief correspondent for Spain. She has also lived and worked as a journalist in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Portland, Oregon."
    • Follow Fiona